Our guest this week is New York Times best-selling novelist Matthew Quirk, who went from being a reporter at The Atlantic to writing thrillers about government fixers and special agents. His latest book is Hour of the Assassin, about an ex-Secret Service agent who tests the security protecting public officials for weaknesses that might allow killers to break through. That is, until his latest assignment ends in … a setup! Quirk’s previous books have dealt with every manner of agent, from the FBI and special ops to con men and consultants. He joins us to talk about his approach to writing thrillers, how he avoids getting scooped by the news, and what fiction of all kinds has to offer us in dark times.
Go beyond the episode:
- Matthew Quirk’s Hour of the Assassin
- Read Quirk’s essay for Vox on how the Trump era keeps spoiling his books
- We love John le Carré too: read senior editor Bruce Falconer’s review of the master’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel
- For an escape of a different kind, check out our editors’ favorite British detective shows
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek and sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
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